The University of The South Pacific (USP) final-year Journalism student, Sera Tikotikoivatu-Sefeti was the proud winner of the 2022 Vision Pasifika Media Award.
The 2022 Vision Pasifika Media Award commemorates the role of Pacific media in amplifying Pacific voices on climate change. It was launched with financial support from Aotearoa New Zealand and was facilitated through a collaboration between the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), Pacific Islands News Association (PINA), Internews Earth Journalism Network, and the Pacific Environment Journalists Network (PEJN).
The Award received entries from Pacific media workers on published, or broadcast stories that highlighted the region’s climate change challenges and, or the ways Pacific people have addressed these, for survival.
Sera Tikotikoivatu-Sefeti said she is beyond humbled to receive the award adding that she is grateful to God for this opportunity.
Originally hailing from Dravuni village on the beautiful Kadavu island, Sera highlighted the importance of amplifying Pacific voices on climate change.
“The Pacific Island countries are the least contributors towards climate change, but they are the most affected by it. We are known to have a close relationship with the land and sea and to have that severely affected by big world countries whose activities are a big cause of this is unacceptable. Pacific voices need to be amplified for bigger nations to notice and take accountability for their actions,” she said.
The award consisted of five categories namely Television News, Radio production, Online content, Print media, and Tertiary-level journalism students.
Sera is a student journalist at USP and writes for Wansolwara walking off with the Tertiary Level Journalism Award.
Passionate about environmental issues and human-interest stories, Sera believed that Pacific stories should be “heard” from the Pacific Islanders' perspective and words as it is a crisis they live by and survive every day.
“In Fiji, there aren't enough environmental journalists covering the stories of the environment and how it's affecting the people. I understand it can be a resource constraint and financially limited area, but for me, I want to fill in that gap in the industry and be able to do something I'm passionate about because it's incredibly important to tell our people's story and by a local who understands it because they are living it as well,” she added.
She dedicates this award to the Almighty God, her family, the USP journalism students, her peers, and all indigenous women.
Sera is an inspiration and advises everyone to broaden their horizons and challenge themselves.
“So many times, we limit ourselves to what others perceive us, and it will take you to step out of your comfort zone to be able to experience your full capabilities,” she said.
Other category winners of the 2022 Vision Pasifika Media Award were Fabian Randerath for the Television category, Jeremy Gwao for the Online category, and Moffat Mamu for the Print category.